Dawn Foods has recently appointed two Student Ambassadors from University College Birmingham, as part of an ongoing partnership with the university college to ensure that the company stays ahead of the game when it comes to ‘sweet treats’ for students and share this valuable insight with its university catering customers.

Dawn’s 2022 Student Ambassadors are Ellen Horsey, a final year student on UCB’s Bakery and Patisserie Technology degree and Claire Pretty also in her final year on the same course.  Both women will be working with Dawn’s Application Chef Robin Loud to create new recipes using Dawn’s products as well as insight that will be beneficial to professional bakers. With a finger on the pulse regarding the latest bakery trends and influencers, both Ellen and Claire share their bakes and ideas on their Instagram platforms.

As vegan is one of the fastest growing opportunities for campus catering outlets, the new Student Ambassadors will be kicking off the year with Dawn looking at vegan recipes and ideas.  

“A record number of people are now swapping to or trying vegan food. When it comes to students, TUCO’s own research shows that many university campus catering outlets are looking to increase plant-based eating, if not moving completely to all vegan and vegetarian offerings, explains Jacqui Passmore, Marketing Manager UK and Ireland for Dawn Foods. “There is greater demand for ‘conscientious consumerism’ not just amongst students, but consumers as a whole, helping to further fuel interest in vegan food.

“University caterers can target students who embrace veganism, as well as those who are ‘dabbling’, without having to buy in specialist ingredients, or invest in bakery training for staff. University caterers do not need to ‘double stock’ on ingredients but focus on serving great tasting sweet bakery products, which happen to also be vegan. Bakery ingredients manufacturers such as Dawn Foods, have worked hard to produce some innovative vegan options for bakers and caterers to ensure that finished vegan products taste just as good as their regular counterparts.

For complete convenience, Dawn offers finished frozen vegan sweet bakes,as the products can simply be thawed and served as demand dictates.

Dawn’s finished frozen vegan range includes a rich American-style Chocolate Chunk Brownie, which can be easily topped to make a delicious dessert, and for coffee or teatime, authentic American-style Muffins and Cookies. The indulgent vegan 76g baked cookies are available in Chocolate Chunk or Double Chocolate Chunk. Made to an authentic American muffin recipe to give a moist open texture, Dawn’s vegan muffins come in Double Chocolate, Lemon Poppy Seed and Mixed Berry. Each has a delicious filling for a satisfying eat and topped for added texture.

Dawn’s products are vegan-certified and contain sustainably sourced ingredients such as UTZ(RFA) certified cocoa and RSPO Palm Oil. The frozen products are also Halal certified.

“For caterers who wish to make sweet vegan bakes and desserts themselves, using ready to use mixes means all the hard work in ensuring a completely vegan finished product has been done for you. It’s almost like having a blank canvas to create your own ideas, “Jacqui explains.

Dawn Foods’ vegan mixes, which only require the addition of water and oil or margarine, are ideal to use in a variety of desserts and cakes that are suitable for all. The range includes Vegan Crème Cake Mix in plain and chocolate, which makes delicious pound cakes and sheet cakes, while Dawn’s Vegan Muffin Mix, available also in plain and chocolate, makes authentic American-style muffins for finishing with vegan-friendly toppings and fillings.

There is also a Vegan Brownie Mix, suitable for making either fudge or cake brownies – both are soft eating and hold inclusions well. With Dawn’s Vegan Cookie Mix, caterers can bake their own American-style Plain or Chocolate Cookies with an authentic cracked appearance and soft eating centre that students will love.

Key facts about veganism

  • The UK vegan market is predicted to be worth £1.1bn by 2023 (Mintel Research 2018)
  • According to The Vegan Society over half of Brits (56%) adopt vegan buying behaviour. Vegan proves to be more than a micro-movement within vegetarian, as it has been growing strongly both across the UK and on a global level.
  • The Vegan Society has also conducted research to discover how many vegans are currently living in the UK and found that the number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2019. In 2019, it suggested that there were 600,000 vegans, or 1.16% of the population.

Flexitarian, Vegetarian or Vegan...What is the difference? The word ‘Vega’ comes from vegetarian. The vegetarian customer does not eat animals. Vegans do not consume any animal products, so they leave dairy, eggs, cheese and honey out of their diet. Flexitarians consume mainly a plant-based diet with the occasional inclusion of meat, animal products or fish.